Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Short writing (2): Virgin media short

My sister's two-minute film The Test has just been entered for the Virgin Media Shorts competition.

I think it's great! (And that's not just fraternal loyalty.) But I'm also interested to see how the script has changed since the first draft I saw. She set herself the task of telling a pretty complex story in just two minutes, and the problem from the start was: just how explicit does it have to be, so that viewers can understand what's going on?

The answer turned out to be: pretty explicit. To begin with, people who read the script were saying that they weren't getting it first time (and one can't count on people watching a film more than once), so Ros had to find ways to make the story clearer without increasing the length and weighing the film down. For educational writers and learning designers, this is this is the take-away point: making things explicit doesn't mean using a lot of words and trying to say everything. In the case of this film,visual cues, slight changes to the wording, and a few captions give viewers enough pointers to work out the rest for themselves.

I'm particularly pleased that she used my suggestion to have Adi snap his fingers at one key point - which tells the viewer that the transition which follows is something which he wills to happen, and not a fantasy or a flashback. If that doesn't make much sense without the context, you'll just have to watch the film!

No comments:

Post a Comment